Air Quality Communication and Public Outreach

poster with indicator of air quality ranges from good to hazardous

From the semester’s beginning, we focused on air quality as an inhibitor of environmental, social, and economic sustainability along the Wasatch Front.  As we ideated technological fixes, the problem of air quality continually related back to communication issues.  How is air quality communicated throughout the Salt Lake Valley?  Are those methods of communication effective? And, what is a viable point of intervention for increasing public awareness and knowledge?  By centering these questions, we developed a two-fold project based on multi-directional communication.  We went to public spaces with an air quality questionnaire. Through this engagement, the public informed us with their responses and insights, while we simultaneously informed the public with conversations and a sign depicting current air quality conditions.

The lessons learned and information gathered from this project will live on.  The approximately 250 people with whom we interacted can carry on the conversation.  Additionally, we presented this project to the Global Change and Sustainability Committee meeting on May 6, 2019. Finally, the survey data gathered will be given to environmental and health-based non-profits as well as academic researchers to help them better understand the public’s awareness of air quality.  Hopefully, this can illuminate knowledge gaps and influence policies going forward.

Raul Ochoa (left) and Mikala Jordan (center) with Smokey the bear at Arbor Day Celebration at Red Butte Gardens."
Raul Ochoa (left) and Mikala Jordan (right) at the Hogle Zoo for Party for the Planet eventon April 20, 2019. "
Katherine Bui (left) and Junsik Kim (right) at Red Butte Gardens for their Arbor Day Celebration on April 26, 2019.   "

Images, top to bottom:

This air quality sign was developed as a visual display to prompt community engagement at local Salt Lake City events. Air Quality Index values are from the Utah Department of Health.

Raul Ochoa (left) and Mikala Jordan (center) with Smokey the bear at Arbor Day Celebration at Red Butte Gardens.

Raul Ochoa (left) and Mikala Jordan (right) at the Hogle Zoo for Party for the Planet event on April 20, 2019.

Katherine Bui (left) and Junsik Kim (right) at Red Butte Gardens for their Arbor Day Celebration on April 26, 2019.

 

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